European Organisation for Rare Diseases seeks Public Affairs Intern

European Organisation for Rare Diseases Internship  Brussel, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium 25 Jul 2018

Job Description

Public Affairs Intern

EURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europe is looking to recruit an intern from end September 2018 – end March 2019 to work within the Public Affairs team in the Brussels office.

EURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europe is a unique, non-profit alliance of over 800 rare disease patient organisations from more than 70 countries that work together to improve the lives of the 30 million people living with a rare disease in Europe. Our vision is to enable better lives and cures for people living with a rare disease.

EURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europe has also established a number of initiatives and partnerships aiming to expand its advocacy efforts to the global level and represent the estimated 300 million people living with a rare disease worldwide. These include the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, a civil society forum created to promote multi-stakeholder collaboration and actions for the benefit of people living with a rare disease within the United Nations system (; and Rare Disease International (RDI), the global alliance of people living with a rare disease of all nationalities across all rare diseases (

The Public Affairs team is looking for a candidate who is a real team player, flexible to working in an international environment, organised, highly detail-oriented and motivated to work for an NGO and support both its European and international advocacy efforts.

This is an excellent opportunity to work for a highly regarded health NGO in a truly international environment.

Prior knowledge of rare diseases is not required.

Job Purpose

The intern will provide support EURORDIS’ advocacy team in implementing the advocacy strand of the EURORDIS strategy 2015-2020.

The intern will support both European and international advocacy activities of EURORDIS, which include EURORDIS’ action within the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases and Rare Disease international.

Responsibilities will include, but will not be limited to

  • Provide staff with support in research, analysis and preparation of background materials of various topics, organisations, and key players in the field;
  • Monitor relevant EU level and UN meetings and policy development in relevant fields (e.g. health, research, SDGs, disability, NCDs);
  • Research and analysis of topics that are relevant for the rare disease community;
  • Help with the development of advocacy documents and tools;
  • Map and reach out to key stakeholders, including EU Institutions and other Brussels-based organisations; UN Secretariat, UN Bodies (WHO, UNDP, UNICEF) and diplomatic missions;
  • Assist with the organisation of events and meetings, specifically supporting the preparation of the High Level meeting of the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases in February 2019;
  • Prepare updates for the website and other media-related materials.

Required skills

  • Graduate/undergraduate degree in Political Science, International Relations, Law, or a related field;
  • Genuine enthusiasm for international public affairs and advocacy;
  • Motivation to work for an NGO very important (experience working for an NGO desirable but not required);
  • Interest in and experience with EU affairs and/or international relations;
  • Fluency in English: The working language of EURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europe is English. A very good level of written and spoken English is required for interns;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, reflecting an appreciation that each audience requires its own approach;
  • Strong analytical skills and attention to details;
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office (including Word and Excel);
  • Highly organised, detail-orientated and able to prioritise/cope under pressure;
  • Ability to work independently.

Desired skills and experience

  • Knowledge of international intergovernmental organisations;
  • Knowledge of one or more of the UN’s other official languages: French or Spanish;
  • Familiarity with international thematic issues, including UN human rights mechanisms, the Sustainable Development Goals, the NCDs agenda;
  • Experience using all social media channels and writing content for social media.


What knowledge will the intern have gained?

  • The intern will have a good understanding of the structure and working methods of a civil society organisation. The intern will be familiar with EU mechanisms and policies that have an impact on the lives of people living with a rare disease; the intern will also familiarise with the structure of the United Nations system and the opportunities for civil society participation. The intern will have gained a basic understanding of patient advocacy and of how to interact with key EU stakeholders, UN entities and other NGOs. The intern will have gained basic skills in networking and event organisation.

Hours: 35 hours a week

Compensation: the internship and the remuneration will be regulated in the framework of a Belgian contract, namely a ‘Convention d’immersion professionnelle’.


Please send your CV and cover letter in English to by August 21st 2018.

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